The sixth of 12 children, Bill Ritter was raised on a small farm in Arapahoe County. He was a member of the first graduating class of Gateway High School (1974), and he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State University (1978) and his law degree from the University of Colorado (1981).
His first job out of law school was as a deputy district attorney in Denver. In 1987, Ritter and his wife, Jeannie Ritter, left Denver to run a food distribution and nutrition center in Zambia, Africa. They returned home in 1990, and three years later Ritter was appointed as Denver‘s District Attorney, a position he held until January 2005. He earned a national reputation as one of the country’s most effective and innovative prosecutors, and several of his programs continue to serve as state and national models.
Ritter has quickly established Colorado as a national leader in renewable energy by creating a New Energy Economy and doubling the state’s renewable energy portfolio. He is reforming natural resource issues, bringing greater balance, requiring responsible development and ensuring the protection of our air, land, water, wildlife and communities.